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In this course, participants will gain the general knowledge on the suitability of a ground improvement technique to a specific site, degree to which soil properties may be improved, as well as advantages and limitations of these techniques.

Course Outline
After participating in this seminar, you will be able to
  • Gain a solid understanding of principles involved in ground improvement for geotechnical and environmental applications
  • Select a ground improvement technique based on the site condition, proposed application, and value engineering considerations
  • Carry out preliminary design for the specific ground improvement method selected for the site
  • Review design portfolios and provide technical and practical feedback to a ground improvement project

As more engineering structures are built, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a site with suitable soil properties and many sites must be improved by some form of ground improvement methods.  The focus of this course is to introduce scientific principles, design, implementation and appropriate applications of a broad range of soil improvement techniques.  The participants will gain the general knowledge on the suitability of a ground improvement technique to a specific site, degree to which soil properties may be improved, as well as advantages and limitations of these techniques.  Case studies are presented as part of learning process throughout the lectures.  Participants are involved through discussions and hand-on practice on design and analysis of foundations on difficult soils, embankments and earth dams, earth retaining structures, waste containment facilities, seepage control, dewatering and other ground improvement projects.  The concept of "Value Engineering", i.e. considerations of enhancing benefits and reducing cost, is addressed throughout lectures and discussions. While participants are not expected to be an expert in all ground improvement techniques introduced in this course, they should have a solid understanding of the geotechnical issues involved in the design and implementation, and be well on the way to become an expert if so desired.


The objective of this course is for participants to understand the scientific principles and design approaches of common ground improvement methods, including densification and compaction; preloading consolidation by prefabricated vertical drains, vacuum and electro-osmotic consolidation; physical and chemical stabilization; improvement by inclusions; seepage control and dewatering.

Who Should Attend

Geotechnical engineers and geologists, technicians and technologists, contractors, site supervisors, municipal engineers, owners, developers, engineering and architectural consultants, environmental engineers and scientists, and other individuals involved in project management,  design and construction of earthworks and foundations.

Program Outline

Day I

Registration and Coffee

Welcome, Introduction, Workshop Preview, Learning Outcomes and the Assessment Methods
Densification and Compaction

  • Shallow and deep compaction
  • Dynamic compaction
  • Compaction quality control and assessment
  • Prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs)
  • Vacuum preloading
  • Electro-osmosis
Day II

Reinforcement by Inclusions

  • Reinforced earth structures
  • Ground anchors, soil nails and micro-piles
Physical and Chemical Stabilization
  • Chemical admixtures
  • Grouting
  • Thermal treatment
  • Ground freezing
  • Electro-cementation

Seepage Control and Dewatering

  • Seepage analysis and control
  • Dewatering methods
  • Design considerations
Case Histories

Questions and Answers to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

There will be a one-hour lunch break each day in addition to a refreshment and networking break during each morning and afternoon session.


Julie Q. Shang, PhD. P.Eng. is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the University of Western Ontario. She has over 20 years of experience in research, teaching and engineering consulting. She has extensive collaborations with academics and industries worldwide and has received research grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and other funding agencies. Dr. Shang has offered short courses, research seminars and invited presentations on various topics related to the frontier research in geotechnical and Geoenvironmental engineering in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, China, Netherlands and other countries. Dr. Shang is a present member of Canadian Geotechnical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, and American Society of Electrophoresis, and has served as an Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE in the past.

Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

1.8 CEU / 18 PDH

Cancellation Policy
To withdraw from a course, you must send a request, in writing, with the official receipt to our office. Fifteen or more business days in advance: full refund less $50.00 administration charge. Five to fifteen business days in advance: non-refundable credit of equal value for any future EPIC seminar within one year. Credits are transferable within your organization. In case of an unexpected event occurring after this time, you may send someone else to take your place without any additional cost.
Map & Reviews
EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center
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Here are some reviews of the training vendor.
The course was very well presented and the course instructor was absolutely amazing.
Reviewed by 2013
Our instructor, Stephen Lamming, was outstanding and a true expert in his field. He was able to complement the technical air monitoring information with practical real life examples which was highly beneficial. He is an excellent communicator and was highly interactive with the course attendees. This course was recommended to me because Stephen Lamming does an outstanding job. I was very impressed with this course and have subsequently recommended it to my colleagues.
Reviewed by 2012
Would have liked more interactive problem solving.
Reviewed by 2011

This course currently does not have any dates scheduled. Please call 1-877-313-8881 to enquire about future dates or scheduling a private, in house course for your team.

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